JPG Shooters: what in-camera settings do you use?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by Tdp, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. Tdp

    Tdp Guest

    Just yesterday I decided to shoot all jpg with my X-E1. Not really knowing where to start I zeroed all settings and picked Pro S for the film type. It turned out ok. Since I keep reading about the awesomeness of Fuji colors SOOC I figure I'm doing something wrong.

    So if you have a moment I would love to hear from the jpg shooters out there - what are your favorite settings? Do you do any post processing or is it mostly SOOC as-is?

    Thanks,

    TDP
     
  2. flysurfer

    flysurfer X-Pert

    Feb 1, 2013
    Nuremberg
    Rico Pfirstinger
    I mostly adapt the JPEG settings after the shot. I find this easier and less stressful. I also always want to keep a RAW, so FINE+RAW it is.
     
  3. bartjeej

    bartjeej FujiXspot Regular

    139
    Mar 31, 2013
    I shoot raw+jpeg, I'm trying to find a combination of jpeg settings that will result in a directly usable jpeg without any post-processing, whether in-camera or on the computer.

    The in-camera raw processor, while really, really nice to have, does have its limitations because the camera's LCD doesn't match my computer's screen in terms of colour, dynamic range and contrast, so if I find an image perfect on the in-camera raw processor it probably won't be once I view it on a computer.

    I'm still trying to figure it out, but right now, my settings (for original X100) are:
    film mode: Astia
    dynamic range: auto
    white balance: auto
    wb shift: red/cyan +1, blue/yellow -1
    color: mid
    sharpness: std
    highlight tone: mid-soft
    shadow tone: std
    noise reduction: low (I wish it would be possible to turn off completely; I love the texture of the X100's raw files when I apply zero NR, and unlike most people, I find the X100 jpeg engine's NR a bit poor... even at Low, it still looks a little bit plasticky, to my mind...)

    I'm not sure about the highlight and shadow tone settings. Some people have gotten great results with both at mid-hard, but especially for shadows, I often find this a bit too contrasty. Having shadows at anything below std seems to give many images a bit of a washed-out look though. Also, I like to have images with a little "glow" from the highlights (which mid-hard highlights can give), but at the same time I don't want to lose too much detail, which suggests mid-low would be a better option. Would love to hear from others! Also, what do you do with colour, specifically those people using astia or similar film modes...
     
  4. flysurfer

    flysurfer X-Pert

    Feb 1, 2013
    Nuremberg
    Rico Pfirstinger
    I make the changes based on experience or on what I see on my computer screen. I also prefer the EVF over the LCD when it comes to checking sharpness or contrast.
     
  5. bartjeej

    bartjeej FujiXspot Regular

    139
    Mar 31, 2013
    true, I expect I'll be able to predict how the image on the camera's LCD will translate to the computer screen once I get a bit more experience. I'll give the EVF a go... Maybe if I use the USB cable, instead of putting the SD card in the computer's card reader, it'll also be quicker to make changes to images because I won't have to move the SD card back and forth between camera and computer.
     
  6. flysurfer

    flysurfer X-Pert

    Feb 1, 2013
    Nuremberg
    Rico Pfirstinger
    Yep, the cable can help here.

    Personally, I prefer to just leave the RAWs I like on the card and delete the rest, then redevelop those RAWs in-cameras after checking everything on my laptop. So I always put my card in a card reader, and I also copy the "good" RAWs to my PC as a backup. It happens that I delete a RAW by accident when I redevelop it in-camera, so a backup is mandatory. But I am selective, I only keep a small portion of my shots.
     
  7. Tdp

    Tdp Guest

    Thanks guys I appreciate the input.
     
  8. drewbot

    drewbot FujiXspot Regular

    138
    Feb 1, 2013
    Toronto
    On both X-E1 and X100S:

    RAW+FINE - allows for reprocessing in-camera to make even better JPEGs.

    DR100% - prevents weird RAW cooking at 200/400%.

    Pro Neg. High - very contrasty and gets the "look" I'm going for easily.

    Color +1

    Shadow -1 -reduces some of that punch but makes it easier to keep this setting all the time. The only downfall with Pro Neg. H (and sometimes S) is that it totally crushes blacks in some instances where I don't want it to.

    Highlight -1

    Sharp +1 - controversial to up the sharpening, but, RAWs cannot be pushed that well in sharpening so may as well take advantage in camera

    NR 0 - some like it -1, -2 but for the most part 0 works fine.
     
  9. flysurfer

    flysurfer X-Pert

    Feb 1, 2013
    Nuremberg
    Rico Pfirstinger
    Of course, you can tune your JPEG standard settings in a way to get the best histogram and best LCD/EVF view. This will probably not result in nice JPEGs straight from the camera, but it will help you expose right and improve the visibility of shadow and highlight details especially in adverse lighting situations, like shooting against the sun or with strong contrasts. Obviously, setting both highlights and shadows to -2 will be of help here, and it will also smoothen the live histogram at both edges, making it more realistic for RAW shooters.
     
  10. jloden

    jloden FujiXspot Top Veteran

    708
    Mar 9, 2013
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    I've been shooting RAW+JPEG from day one, though I almost always use the RAW anyway. I like to alter which film mode based on what I'm shooting, but I most often use B&W or standard/Provia. I will use Velvia if I really want colors to pop or on a landscape but I've found it to be a bit much for my tastes most of the time.

    The last trip I did with the X100S I shot a bunch on Pro Neg Std and on B&W and actually ended up using a lot of the JPGs instead of the RAWs, which I was (pleasantly) surprised by. Will probably start using Pro Neg a lot more often.

    Also as flysurfer pointed out, creating the JPEG after the fact in camera works really well for experimenting, I used that a few times this last trip too. I shot an entire wedding event with RAW + B&W JPEGs and for the tiny number of shots I wanted in color I re-processed a copy or two with different film simulations to see what it turned out like.
     
  11. bartjeej

    bartjeej FujiXspot Regular

    139
    Mar 31, 2013
    Has this been a problem for you (or other people)? I see the camera uses DR400 quite often, but so far I haven't really seen anything ungainly in the jpegs...
     
  12. drewbot

    drewbot FujiXspot Regular

    138
    Feb 1, 2013
    Toronto
    To my knowledge, these weird DR artifacts do not manifest as bad in JPEG as in RAW.

    I don't have any DR400 RAWs anymore, however, I recall that any play with exposure or tone curves will result in the dreaded watercolor effect. More so with DR200/400 than at 100.

    Hopefully somebody else will enlighten us.
     
  13. deanmessenger

    deanmessenger FujiXspot Regular

    58
    Feb 24, 2013
    Surrey UK
    Dean Messenger
    this has is an area that has mystified me too. shooting mainly black and white jpeg im at total loss as to settings for shadow, NR, highlights, etc etc. one forum says one thing, another says the total opposite. and with so many settings the number of possible combinations is mind boggling to sit and fire off test shot of each . ignoring colour mode ( greyed out for black and white ) and ignoring WB for a minute that gives you 4 settings, of sharpness, highlight tone shadow tone and NR. so 5 settings for each from -2 to + 2.. now the maths if I can work this out, soooo. start from the top sharpness -2 everything else minus -2 is 1. go through rest of sharpness that's 5, move hightlight -1 and again that's a further 5 on each sharpness x 5 on highlight, 20 25... that's 30 combinations so far.move shdow tone to -1 then start again and you get 5 x 5 x 5, that's 125. then again for nr its 5 x 5 x 5 x 5 so that's 625 + the earlier 125 + 30... and ive probably gone wrong but that's 780...
    yet for a combo of 4 x 5 multiplied as you can see the amount of variations is ...far to many to test and consider.. through in colour shots and its off the scale!
    anyone good at math!
     
  14. deanmessenger

    deanmessenger FujiXspot Regular

    58
    Feb 24, 2013
    Surrey UK
    Dean Messenger
    duplicated post
     
  15. flysurfer

    flysurfer X-Pert

    Feb 1, 2013
    Nuremberg
    Rico Pfirstinger
    The total number of JPEG setting combinations for a single RAW is several billions, I once calculated the exact number, you can find it somewhere in my book.

    The reasonable approach is to ignore what others are saying. There is no consensus, so obviously, there aren't any general "best JPEG settings". If there were, Fuji should make them the factory settings and do away with all those billions of confusing, useless options (each being inferior to the "best" factory setting).

    What you need to know is what each setting does, how it works and what it's good for. That's why I spent dozens of pages in my book describing and illustrating each JPEG parameter with practical examples. It's not about telling users what settings to use, it's about empowering users to be able to make their own informed choices. Once they have an understanding of how a setting works and how it will affect a given look, they can apply and change each setting on their own. They won't have to ask anybody, except for themselves: What do I want, and what settings do I have to change to get what I want?

    Basically, learning JPEG settings is like a "RAW conversion for dummies" tutorial, as the internal RAW converter offers a simple, quick and structured way of developing a RAW file "to taste". Your taste, that is. Using external software like Lightroom/ACR, Aperture/ACR, Silkypix 5 or Capture One to process a RAW file, your options will again increase dramatically, now going into the trillions for each single pic.

    It's futile to think about the limitless number of options you do not want, just focus on the one you have in mind and use the tools that are available to get there. This means that the very first thing you should know is how you want your pic to look like. This is important, you should have a clear image in your mind. It's hard to reach a goal that you can't see (aka visualize), you wouldn't know in which direction to turn.
     
  16. bartjeej

    bartjeej FujiXspot Regular

    139
    Mar 31, 2013
    ^ I'm getting 3.520.750.000, and you can double that if you include the choice of colour space as a jpeg option. :)
     
  17. flysurfer

    flysurfer X-Pert

    Feb 1, 2013
    Nuremberg
    Rico Pfirstinger
    Don't forget DR settings and all those WB options.
     
  18. bartjeej

    bartjeej FujiXspot Regular

    139
    Mar 31, 2013
    I did take them into account: 13 steps of push/pull processing * 3 steps of DR * 8 film simulations * 10 white balance settings * 19 options of wb shift on the red/cyan axis * 19 options on the blue/yellow axis * 5 color settings * 5 sharpness settings * 5 NR settings * 5 highlight settings * 5 shadow settings = 3519750000, * 2 color space settings = a little over 7 billion options :smile:

    I like this advice
    I want a look that's both ethereal and dense, both vibrant and believable... not sure if it's possible to get all of that at the same time, though! :tongue:
     
  19. flysurfer

    flysurfer X-Pert

    Feb 1, 2013
    Nuremberg
    Rico Pfirstinger
    You can pretty much get any look you want, as even the JPEGs from the camera are very robust and can (and should) be further processed.
     
  20. deanmessenger

    deanmessenger FujiXspot Regular

    58
    Feb 24, 2013
    Surrey UK
    Dean Messenger
    You missed out ISO , shutter speed and DoF :p